Prof. Kerr and Six Tech-Law Students Attend Stanford Panel On Artificial Intelligence and the Law

Posted on Wednesday, November 2, 2011

On October 27th 2011, Professor Ian Kerr, Canada Research Chair in Ethics, Law and Technology, was featured in a panel discussion at Stanford Law School titled, "Artificial Intelligence: A Legal Perspective."

Hosted by the Stanford Center for Internet and Society and moderated by Ryan Calo, Director of the Consumer Privacy and Legal Aspects of Autonomous Driving Projects, the panel brought together four internationally renowned experts with diverse perspectives on the legal and ethical implications of robotics.

Professor Kerr was joined on the panel by constitutional and international law scholar, John McGinnis, legal theorist, Larry Solum, and roboticist and Australian RoboCup soccer coach, Mary-Anne Williams. The discussion transcended disciplinary silos, focusing broadly on robots' potential to transform how people do things and the corresponding implications within the legal domain.

Six uOttawa tech-law students currently studying the legal implications of robotics attended the event with Prof Kerr and his colleague Madelaine Saginur, Executive Director of uOttawa’s Centre for Technology, Law and Society : Eliot Che, Hannah Draper, Charlotte Freeman-Shaw, Sinziana Gutiu, Katie Szilagyi and Kristen Thomasen.

Describing the event, second year uOttawa law student, Eliot Che, remarked that, “The panel opened our eyes to the immense breadth of research taking place at the intersection of law and artificial intelligence. Interactions with prominent legal scholars and encouragement from distinguished roboticists inspired me to reconsider my own research in the field of ethics and technology."

In addition to visiting Stanford Law School, the uOttawa group visited a number of other tech-law hotspots: Electronic Frontier Foundation, Google headquarters, and Willow Garage.

Standford Panel

The group returned to Ottawa with a deeper understanding of technology law, how artificial intelligence is created, marketed and regulated, and the types of legal issues that current and future lawyers can anticipate.

Professor Kerr underscored the importance of the event by saying, “Everyone came away from the event with a clearer sense of the urgency in turning our legal attention to these issues now, not 10 years from now. And, the Ottawa students were excellent ambassadors for our law school. They shined more brilliantly, if you can imagine, than the robots did!”

The Stanford panel with Professor Kerr and his colleagues is available here:

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